The mythical salamander resembles the real salamander somewhat in appearance, but makes its home in fires, the hotter the better. (Similarly, the salamander in heraldry is shown in flames, but is otherwise depicted as a generic lizard.) Early travelers to China were shown garments which, or so they were told, had been woven of wool from the salamander: the cloth was completely unharmed by fire. The garments had actually been woven from asbestos. Later Paracelsus suggested that the salamander was the elemental of fire.
These myths originate in Europe from the fire salamander, Salamandra salamandra, which hibernates in and under rotting logs. When logs were brought indoors and put on the fire, the animals mysteriously appeared from the flames.
- Wikipedia (2005). Salamander. Retrieved Nov 18 2005
- This page was originally sourced from Thelemapedia. Retrieved May 2009.